What if January 1, 2000 never comes?

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What if January 1, 2000 never comes? Computers dont control us, we are in control. If a system is at risk and people are able to control the date setting, why not lie to the computer about the date until the problem can be fixed? The calendar is an arbitrary convention and has been changed before--why not now? Of course certain transactions will not be able to be done automatically if we do this. Some organizations will have to do more things manually. For example, is there any harm done though if all welfare checks are dated December 1, 1999 for awhile? What if there was a world-wide agreement to hold all electronic dates on a certain date? Maybe it could be December 25, 1999 for awhile? Imagine that, Christmas every day! :)

But seriously, consider this quote from the Mitre Y2K web-site:


For whatever reasonwhether they wanted to save precious memory in an era when memory was incredibly expensive, or because they didnt expect systems to last this long, or because they simply didnt recognize the problemprogrammers long ago adopted a two-digit convention to represent the year. This convention will cause failures as we approach the turn of the century and beyond. The problem has precedent: Few realized that the IBM 360 could not handle dates past 31 December 1969 until 360s all over Europe started failing at midnight local time. As the failures progressed around the globe, following the timezones, IBM identified the problem and was able to provide its American and Asian customers with a temporary fix by telling them to lie to their computers about the date. Meanwhile, IBM proceeded to create a longer-term patch for the problem.

If this were done on a world-wide basis on all systems where it is possible, we could then concentrate efforts on the systems where the date can not be held back?

Is this idea too simple? Comments?

-- Buddy Y. (buddy@bellatlantic.net), August 07, 1998


Yes buddy, it is too simple. Systems track dates for a reason - the time between that date and another date (usually the current date) has some significance. Your solution presumes there is no significance. If that were true, we wouldn't record the dates to begin with.

Also, the only way to implement the solution is write enough programs to backdate all date data by one day every day so that we can keep the current day constant and still track differences in date/time. That would be just as much effort as fixing Y2K.

-- Ray G (dont_mail@work.com), August 07, 1998.


You are so behind you think you're ahead.

-- Will Huett (willhuett@usa.net), August 07, 1998.

Come on, Will, give the guy a break.

A week ago it was all, 'not a problem.' Now he's looking for silver bullets to fix the 'not a problem.'

He seems to be a quick study. He even ran right the to the first silver bullet in the arsenal.......don't roll over.

Actually, it's sort of fun watching Buddy.

Another six months & he'll decide that there may be a problem after all.

[Will he be able to get food for storage in 6 months? a generator? will runs have started on banks? nah...'not a problem.']

-- Rocky Knolls (rknolls@hotmail.com), August 08, 1998.

He will be ahead of most people even at 6 mos down the road Rocky.


-- Vic (Light_Servant@yahoo.com), August 09, 1998.

Actually, if you look hard enough you will find that my naive fix is actually going to be used in some cases.

One thing I know for sure, I'm not going to find any answers in this forum.

-- Buddy Y. (buddy@bellatlantic.net), August 10, 1998.


you say "Computers dont control us, we are in control."

If that were true, we'd all be laughing. Society has created a computerized system to BE in control

(applications/programs/microchips... that run run everything from the heating element in your toaster, to the orbitting satellites, to the fuel injection system in our cars).

And since we, society have created this world to be the way it is, we're going to have to suffer the consequences, when it fouls up, breaks down, and reminds us all, that computers are indeed, only as reliable as the person who programmed them. I think too often we forget that - but we'll all be reminded again, real soon.

Carla Rolfe

-- Carla Rolfe (kncrolfe@msn.com), August 10, 1998.

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